Friday, December 9, 2011

Splash kaplooee!

Thailand has been good for our family and we have been relaxing and sleeping in almost every day.  I think that I am almost recovered from the stressful India travel.  We have now taken up diving and are trying to get certification.  Today we continued with Anna, our SCUBA instructor, to finish the classroom and pool sections of our Open Water Diver Certification.

Since today was the last day of training, we had to talk about dive tables and how to use them, and complete a 50 question multiple choice exam.  Dive tables tell a diver how long he can be under water without exceeding the proper amount of nitrogen in his body.  The tables are easy to use, but when we dive we will use dive computers to do this job.  After the classroom work was done, we completed a final exam.  This was a serious pain, but we all did very well.  I scored 94 percent and my parents both scored 98s. I am not sure what Liam’s score was, but it was definitely somewhere in the 90s. Mom enjoyed the test, but my dad and I both found the test tiring and we were all glad to have a two hour break.

During the break, I spent time doing my own school work and playing in the pool.  While I was swimming and splashing it started pouring rain.  My parents picked me up from the pool and the three of us ran through the rain towards the dive shop.  Shortly after we were sheltered under the roof, we saw a green umbrella running towards us, Liam.  We were all ready for duty when the cab pulled up. 

Today we headed to a deeper pool to work on the final underwater skills needed for certification.  We said goodbye to the cab and got straight to work.  Our first exercise was putting on our gear.  Yesterday, we got the air tank and BCDs (buoyancy control device) ready and threw them in the pool and then put the equipment on in the water.  Today, we put the gear on and walked to the edge of the pool and jumped in.  We had to make sure to inflate our BCDs so we would float on the surface.  We also had to hold our masks to our face and take one big step forwards.  Splash, kaplooee!  Suddenly my breathing changed and I was Darth Vader again.

Once we were underwater, we practiced yesterday’s skills, clearing the mask, breathing underwater, replacing the mask and regulator, and added some new harder skills.  We first practiced taking the tank and vest off and on underwater.  This may be needed in the ocean if we get our gear caught up and have to free ourselves. This was tricky, but I still was successful.  The last and hardest skills were the emergency accents.  These are used for the case that the dive tank runs out of air and the diver has to immediately surface.  I found it difficult to breath out while going up and having no air.  We all did well with our underwater skills and passed the pool section of the course.

It felt so good to complete the classroom and pool sections of the course.  I loved being underwater again and am glad to be out of the classroom!  Tomorrow night our group and several other groups will participate on a five day dive live aboard dive trip.  I am feeling more and more confident with my diving skills and cannot wait to see the under water world as a guest.

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!

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